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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Unique Day in Singapore

18th October 2010

The morning was a little bit of a hurry, as we were trying to beat the 7.30am Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) toll charge along the East Coast Parkway in Singapore. We started a little late and so we had to hurry. However amid the haste, in between pauses at traffic lights, we could still change the iPhone4 skin. Not bad eh? Every each day, a new skin! Isn't it cool? :)
Then as we got near the ERP toll gantry, as if to make the plot more exciting, the traffic slowed down and we had only 2 minutes before the toll bells ring! Then as we crawled till just at the bottom of the gantry, the clock clicked 7.30am and we got charged $1.50 instantly, to our cries of "Oh shit!" in perfect synchronisation.
Later in the day as I travelled in (public) bus number 130 along Balestier Road, an elderly man (about in his late 70s) got up with a folded wheel chair. The driver forbade him to take it up the bus and suggested that he took a taxi. "Taxi is very expensive!" the old man replied, but that didn't soften the driver's stance to block him coming up the bus. Ironically, the driver said that the old man could bring the wheel chair up if he sat on it, which he couldn't as it was damaged and he was bringing it for repair.
After the old man got off the bus, the driver called up his head office to enquire if he could allow the wheelchair up, and after some discussion, the head office said that he could allow the wheel chair on board. However by then as I ran down the bus to get the old man, he had already taken a taxi.
I was upset with the driver for being so heartless and myself for not intervening earlier. Singapore sadly has become a state where many people live like robots. I asked the driver how he could possibly turned the old man away and he said that if it was just up to him, he would have allowed, but he was afraid of possible reprimand from the company. Couldn't the driver decide with his heart? What harm or safety risk can a wheelchair do on board? The irony is that he could have allowed the wheelchair up if the old man sat on it. Haiz!

Good reminder that we should trust our heart.
This is my Uniquely Singapore Day!

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